Story by Ian Guerin
Any time a best of the best list is made, there will be plenty of potential suitors who barely missed the cut.
When it comes to the Perfect Round, that is no different.
The South Carolina Golf Course Ratings Panel selected the top 18 holes in the Myrtle Beach area. It wasn’t easy, as they had plenty of options on who easily could have earning a spot in the prestigious final list. The following six holes were all ranked highly on the final charts, each giving the ultimate winners in the three par categories a run for their money.
MYRTLE BEACH NATIONAL KING’S NORTH NO. 12
While another hole on this course tends to get its share of run (more on that later), the island green on the par-3 No. 12 has carved out a niche of its own. Playing no longer than 140 yards, a wooden bridge is all that separates the green, a slim rough and the visible “S” and “C” bunkers to the left of the target. Miss short, long or to either side, and you’re utilizing the drop zone.
GLEN DORNOCH WATERWAY GOLF LINKS NO. 17
One rating panelist was direct and to the point when talking about the next-to-last hole at Glen Dornoch, one he referred to it as “Murder on the left and hell on the right.”
He was, of course, speaking about the marsh on one side and the mounded bunker grouping on the other. What is impossible to ignore in all of that is the clear view of the Intracoastal Waterway beyond the green.
LEGEND’S GOLF & RESORT MOORLAND COURSE NO. 16
The last third of No. 16 at Moorland more than makes up for the fact that it only plays 313 yards from the back tees. Properly named “Hell’s Half Acre,” the wrap-around approach to the green is an undulated surface that can quickly turn a great drive under other conditions into a scramble to save par.
GLEN DORNOCH WATERWAY GOLF LINKS NO. 18
The “solid finishing hole with distraction,” as one panelist wrote, plays more like a par 5. Courtesy of split fairways first drawing you away from and then back toward the Intracoastal Waterway, players are charged with getting around the accompanying vegetation, as well as 12 bunkers surrounding a green that wraps up a matter of yards from the farm-style clubhouse.
RIVER CLUB NO. 18
Because of a bowing around a large pond, players finishing up at Tom Jackson’s River Club are asked to go over the same water not just once, but twice. Doing so successfully on back-to-back shots can open up opportunities to shave off some late strokes from earlier in the round. However, at a max distance of 518 yards (493 from the whites), that’s not a gimme scenario.
MYRTLE BEACH NATIONAL KING’S NORTH NO. 6
One panelist noted that “The Gambler” – the better-known moniker for King’s North No. 6 – was “one of the most famous holes on the beach.” Another went one step further, dubbing it the “Most memorable par 5 at the beach.” Arnold Palmer’s risk-reward island fairway gives even the average player a reasonable chance for eagle here. That is, if they don’t plunk the ball into the vast lake completely surrounding the island and washing all the way to the front of the green.